Katie Carr's Open Road
KATIE CARR KOPCSO
Construction Project Manager
NASA, Stennis Space Center
Don't prejudge yourself. Don't let doubt rule you. Push and put in for things you're curious about. Look for that dream and follow that mission, and you never know—you might get it.
- Studied chemical engineering with a minor in aviation at Louisiana Tech University.
- Spent her spare time during school flying search and rescue missions for the Civil Air Patrol in New Orleans.
- Right before she graduated from college, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded over Texas, where she was going to school.
- NASA’s response to the disaster was to hire a whole new crop of young engineers to fix the problem, and Katie applied to several of the resulting job openings.
- The day she got an interview, astronaut Eileen Collins was in town to visit NASA, and she gave an inspiring speech about persisting in the face of the disaster.
- After hearing that speech, Katie knew that she had to work on the “return to flight” program.
- The NASA team she ultimately ended up joining helped to send Eileen Collins back into space just a few short years later.
- Says that even though her engineering major was grueling, and the work she does with NASA can be tough at times, contributing to the progress in space exploration makes it all worth it.